Let's Eat Grandma at EPIC Studios - Review
After Billy Clayton’s opening set has the room swinging around, and Maya Law stuns it into silence with her voice (‘you’re paying so much attention, feel free to talk amongst yourselves if you’d rather,’ she jokes), the lights turn a bright red and Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth take the EPIC stage. Bowing their heads without anything resembling an introduction, they stand side by side, each with their own keyboard and using their hair to hide occasional smiles.
Let’s Eat Grandma work their way through new album I’m All Ears in order, with the assistance of a backing drummer; Hot Pink, in retrospect, is the highlight of the night – big and loud and impossible to ignore, it's perhaps the clearest example of how far the duo have come musically.
The beat drop in Falling Into Me is slightly underwhelming, the drums not quite managing to capture the brilliance of the album version, but Hollingworth then pulls out a saxophone – despite most of the sound coming from their keyboards and the drums, they will later use a recorder and a guitar, too – and brings the energy back to the room. With the three first songs having all been singles, the atmosphere seems to change in time for Snakes & Ladders, in a room that hasn’t had time to learn the lyrics yet. I Will Be Waiting is perhaps the best-received of the lot – ‘it’s late, but I will keep waiting for you.’ Alternating from soft and full of feeling to playfully sinister, their voices work as well together live as they do in the recording.
The sound cuts off halfway through Donnie Darko, of all songs – the album closer is eleven minutes long, but the girls take the incident in stride and rapidly regroup and restart the song, if breaking character for a moment to apologise to the crowd. Lying on the floor, playing clapping games with each other and jumping around the stage seem to have remained part of the duo's choreography, and yet, it’s impossible to predict what the girls are doing next; when they finish with Deep Six Textbook, it’s unclear whether or not the gig has actually ended until the second the lights come on.
Despite the technical difficulties and the somewhat unpolished production, the crowd seems unfazed by this as evidenced by its cheers and screams throughout the gig; two years after the release of their debut album, the DIY-feel still absolutely works for Let's Eat Grandma, and might perhaps always remain part of the duo's identity.